Ugandan police make preliminary statements about the murder of David Kato

Those investigating the murder of David Kato are leaning away from the crime being related to bias against gays. This according to a statement read today at the Uganda Media Centre and reported in the government owned New Vision.

THE Police are holding one person in connection with yesterday’s murder of David Kisuule Kato, who has been one of the activists campaigning against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, however, said the murder was an act of robbery and not connected to Kato’s campaign against the Bill.

Kato, 46, was hit on the head with a hammer by unknown assailants at his home in Bukasa-Kyetume in Nakisunga sub-county, Mukono district.

According to residents, Kato was killed at around 2:00pm on Wednesday by three men who were travelling in a saloon car.

“The circumstances surrounding this incident have no indication regarding Kato’s campaign against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill before Parliament,” said Kayihura in a statement read to the media by the deputy Police spokesperson, Vincent Ssekate, at the Uganda Media Centre.

Kato has been a member of the Sexual Minorities Uganda. Police said a suspect, Arnold Ssenoga, who was a driver to the deceased, had been arrested and is being held at the Rapid Response Unit headquarters in Kireka.

Police are also on the hunt for another suspect, identified as Enock Nsubuga, who is at large.

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba, who visited the murder scene, said a team of detectives from the Police headquarters had been assigned to handle the case in view of the interest it had generated in the international community. “We have not yet established the intention of the assailants, but the Police are investigating the matter,” Nabakooba said.

According to a copy of the statement I received, Inspector General Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura made an effort to present Uganda in a good light, saying:

As police investigations are continuing, the public is asked to disregard any insinuations that have been attributed to this unfortunate incident. Uganda is a peaceful country and any crime of any nature is taken seriously and to its conclusive end.

One should take care in interpreting these preliminary statements. Given the international scrutiny on this crime as well, the Ugandans might have an incentive to minimize bias toward gays. On the other hand, international observers might experience a rush to judgment.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Richard Willmer

    It was suggested earlier today to the BBC that it was a ‘gay-on-gay’ occurrence. It seems that this suggestion is now ‘history’.

  • Richard Willmer
  • David Blakeslee

    Let’s gather the facts; condemn the act, regardless of the motives. Condemn Rolling Stone, regardless of whether they are the proximate cause.

    But, more than anything, lets gather facts. There is plenty of time to activate the Political Mind.

    And it may be fully justified in this situation.

  • Richard Willmer

    That’s what we are doing, David. But we cannot rely on the UG Police alone for the facts, since there is a need for the Ugandan authorities to present things in the ‘best possible light’ as they see it.

    Here’s another fact: all three of the plaintiffs in the ‘Rolling Stone’ case have been threatened and/or harassed. David Kato RIP we know about; another’s house has been attacked; the third has been evicted from their home since the judgement.

  • Richard Willmer

    Incidentally, I think it is ENTIRELY UNDERSTANDABLE that the Ugandan authorities wish to proceed ‘diplomatically’; I’m sure the British authorities would do the same under such circumstances.

    It is also entirely understandable that human rights activists will think what they (we) think; I strongly suspect they (we) are right, actually, given the string of threats that David Kato (and the others) had (have) been receiving since November, and especially this month. But as you rightly say, David, let’s see how the details emerge …

  • David Blakeslee

    I assume we should collect facts from multiple sources…but lets collect them.

  • Richard Willmer

    Is THIS Enock Nsubuga (deemed to be a ‘suspect’ – see above)? If so, what he says seems mighty odd!

    Read me, David?

  • Richard Willmer

    It seems that, earlier this week, David’s computer was hacked into. This is alluded to by those posting on his FB page:-

  • Fg68at

    Gayuganda says also Katos eMail was hacked.

    Last sentence

    I don’t find it know. But i read that there was two likewise robberies, i think in other towns. It could be that with this background the police say that it was a robbery.

  • Richard Willmer

    If you wish to send a message of condolence to the family and friends of David Kato, you can do so to this Email address: